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Winter Olympics 2022

Snowboarding legend Shaun White posts farewell message after retirement

American snowboarding star Shaun White confirmed before Beijing 2022 that it would be his last Winter Games before he retires from the sport.

Snowboarding legend Shaun White posts farewell message after retirement
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Snowboarding star Shaun White has spoken of his "beautiful journey" after confirming his retirement following the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

White got emotional on Friday as he competed in his final event at the Winter Games, the men's halfpipe, where he agonisingly finished in fourth place. The American is the first and so far only snowboarder to win three gold medals, and had already announced before the Games in China that it would be his last, bringing a much-decorated 22-year career to an end.

He took to Twitter on Friday to write a farewell message. "I slid down the halfpipe at the Olympics for the final time," he posted. "Typing this now makes me just as emotional as I felt last Friday. It brings me tears of joy. It has been a rollercoaster of emotions and I am overwhelmed with appreciation. Closing this chapter of my life has made me reflect on that past 22 years as a professional snowboarder with gratitude."

White thanks everyone who has helped him

White went on to thank numerous people who have helped him through his career, insisting that "Still competing at the Olympics at the age of 35. It takes a village, and I am so incredibly lucky to have had such wonderful and talented humans in my corner over the years." He also thanked his family as well as skateboarding icon Tony Hawk, who he credited as a "positive influence", and also thanked snowboarding's organisers, his fellow competitors and his fans.

He went on the say: "Snowboarding was my first love. Like any new relationship, it was intoxicating. Snowboarding gave me a rush, made me feel invincible, filled my life with adventure. It gave me purpose and I got to be creative. I will of course miss snowboarding professionally, but this won't be the last time you see [me] cruising down the mountain. I am beyond humbled and grateful for this beautiful journey. It has been an honor and a privilege. This has been the ride of my life!"

Shaun White's gold medal haul

As well as his Olympic success, at the X Games, White won 23 medals overall, of which 15 were gold. Thirteen of those gold medals came in snowboarding and two in skateboarding. Eight of his X Games golds came in the halfpipe event, with the other five achieved in slopestyle. He was the first snowboarder to score a perfect 100 in the halfpipe in the Winter X Games, achieving that 10 years ago in Aspen, Colorado.

White triumphed first at the Winter Olympics as a 19-year-old in Turin in 2006, defending his title in 2010 in Vancouver, and recovering from missing out on the Sochi podium four years later by landing gold again at Pyeongchang 2018. His score of 97.75 in his second run at Pyeongchang stands as an Olympic record.